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Vágtázó Csodaszarvas

Vágtázó Csodaszarvas

(The Galloping Wonder Stag)
short biography
Ex Oriente lux – light comes from the East. The magic spirit of ancient Eurasia is conjured. Shaman power in psychedelic hardcore. Huns from the Steppes finally triumphed. Primordial God-feeling. The spell-binding knowledge of the One and Indivisible Universe. All these are different formulations of one music group: VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS - The Galloping Wonder Stag. As it is written about their music: “Certainly there is no other music that could more effectively communicate to our compatriots, or even to the whole world, the powerful force of our national past and heritage — which survives and flourishes to the present day, as the music of the Vágtázó Csodaszarvas (cca. Wonder Stag in Full Gallop) so eloquently testifies. If you hear it once, you will find it unforgettable — and will seek out the experience again” (you can see the whole article below: The Power of Galloping Melodies).
Actually, the music of the Galloping Wonder Stag arises in the same way as the ancient ethnic music: from the deepest impulses of the human spirit seeking expression of life’s profound, enrapturing, unfolding beauty. It is a natural music, born of the cosmic creative power of Nature.
As the great Hungarian composer Bela Bartok wrote: “The real ethnic music is a natural phenomenon free from any cultural influence, the result of the formative activity of the unconsciously acting natural force. Such creations develop with the same organic freedom as the other living organisms of Nature: the flowers, animals etc…. Such music expresses the instinctive manifestation of a peasant’s musical perception.”
The deepest human self-expression reaches back to this natural, cosmic force, with all its elementary, magical power. VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS’s music manifests the ancient spirit of Eurasia, of the rich and noble experience of restless, nomadic people canvassing the wilderness for human possibilities. Listening to this music, you can tune into the experience of a thousand years of horse-riding people intimately connected to the heart of Nature, and immerse yourself in the bright treasures of overwhelming rhythms and melodies that is their legacy to us, denizens of the modern age. The leader of the group, Attila Grandpierre, is a bona fide shaman in the ancient sense of that term, a perceptive instrument mediating the ancient and eternal reality of this primaeval experience, translated to us in our own age via this incomparable, magical folk-music.
VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS emerged in 2005 subsequent to five years of creative activity defining and refining its concept and musical direction. Attila Grandpierre, founder of the ensemble, left his former music group Vágtázó Halottkémek (abbr. VHK, cca. Galloping Coroners) in the year 2000, after 26 years of vital activity. They were officially forbidden by the authorities, but were able to play because of their incredible popularity. In these decades he had became a world-renowned icon of the contemporary Hungarian music scene before his departure. VHK had acquired its reputation as the best shaman-punk band ever. In this new group, Attila invited some of the best Hungarian folk virtuosos, together with some previously unknown but technically excellent and spiritually-endowed musicians. Their recent debut in the Petőfi Hall presented a ferocious performance, and received wide credit as a tremendous success. The band now consists of eleven members, playing on zymbalon (dulcimer, ancient Hungarian cymbalom), koboz (kobsa, ancient Hungarian lute, lyre), the Hungarian bagpipe, the Csango drums (ancient Hungarian shaman-drums), violin, and double bass — all together fusing to create what is by turns a ferocious and enrapturing sound.
VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS is not merely a musical experience, but a vision of an unlimited will to live our lives to the fullest capacity. The ritual, shamanic dance presented by Attila Grandpierre is a source of magic that enraptures the whole band and hypnotizes the audience, who thereby experience the extraordinary world where the magical music still lives, as it has ever lived from time immemorial.
It almost goes without saying that The Galloping Wonder Stag is reputed to be an eminently distinguished Hungarian cult band. The music of VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS is a proud music, life-affirming, spontaneous, joyful, and suffused with overwhelming energy seeking release. In present terms, it is shamanistic and psychedelic. It is a cosmic vision about the role of earthly life in the destination of the Universe. It develops in a sovereign way as a self-revelation by means of its sheer elementary power.
The first CD of VÁGTÁZÓ CSODASZARVAS — entitled Pure Spring — appeared in August 2006, published by FONÓ Records. Its pride and glory is to recall Béla Bartók’s concept of the real folk music — and to make it resonate with the minds, sensibilities, and spirits of people like you and me who seek vital connections with our living world and with our human past. It reached the top at the list of the best records of 2006 of the editors of Rockinform, the Hungarian musical journal, and has been dedicated to the best CDs of 2006 in the categories of the best debut albums, the best productions and the best CD covers as well at the international list of Hungarian Metal Awards Hang-Súly’06.
Three mp3 pieces of music of The Galloping Wonder Stag can be downloaded freely from
Contact address:
Attila Grandpierre, PhD
candidate of physical sciences, astrophysicist, writer
Internet site:,
Tel: 06-70-509-7404
Fax: +36-27-373-074
Actual news on
The Galloping Wonder Stag
New video recordings on Vágtázó Csodaszarvaságtázó_csodaszarvas
2007. december 22, Petőfi Csarnok, live recording of the second CD
2007. augusztus 25, 17:00, Szombathely, Savaria Carneval
2007. július 29, 21:00, The Valley of the Art, Monostorapáti
Wonder Stag at the coast of the Rába
Recently the Vágtázó Csodaszarvas gave a concert in the Mediawave Festival at Rábapatona. The sound, the performance was fantastic; the music group of Attila Grandpierre had presented a wonderful, soul-uplifting, thought-provoking experience. I think that deeper doors were opened by the deeper sense of their music, and moving the will of the soul in the presence of the moment…The music of the Galloping Wonder Stag reaches up to the sky, and even beyond the sky, with an eternal flame in its centre. A fire that lives within us, in the depths of our soul, there pulsates forever. Thanks to everybody contributing in organizing this event.
N. Csákány Miklós, Kapuvár
Published in: Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation, one of the biggest daily newspaper, published in cca. 130 000 copies daily), 2005. december 5, Monday, p. 15.
The Power of Galloping Melodies
Kiss Eszter Veronika
If anybody thought it was impossible to exceed the achievements of the original VHK (cca. Galloping Coroners), this thoroughly mistaken view has been utterly dispelled. One may only say that, with the Csodaszarvas (Galloping Wonder Stag) the musical vision that Attila Grandpierre had originally dreamt of in his first galloping orchestra has finally taken on its real shape. The folk timbre, especially the strong Moldavian timbre, the koboz (ancient Hungarian lute, lyre) used instead of guitars, the zymbalon (dulcimer, ancient Hungarian cymbalo), the Hungarian bagpipe, the Csango drums, all together combine to craft a sound that so masterfully enhances the irresistible primordial power present in the melodies, that it almost sweeps the audience off its feet. The new instrumentation of two original VHK tracks —the “Battle of the Huns” and “Hallo, Universe!” — could convince anybody of the truth of this statement. After experiencing them, one wonders: What music is left to be listened to?
Csodaszarvas’ music testifies to cosmic completeness, and makes it possible for us to conceive of it from here on earth. These are eternal melodies in contemporary clothes. The musicians, each hailing from a different musical background and experiences, all commonly identified with the uncommon atmosphere of the performance. The productions of Szokolay Dongó Balázs and Balogh Kálmán were magical even above this level. Their knowledge and genius in all probability makes them world leaders in their musical specialties. They do not play music: They are the music. And they are whole-hearted collaborators with the Magus Attila Grandpierre, who furiously, frenetically leaps in shaman dance, all over the whole stage.
As ever, Attila Grandpierre sings straight from the heart. He loses himself on stage, surrendering himself to become a mere tool in the hand of music, mediating its message to us heart to heart, soul to soul.
Certainly there is no other music that could more effectively communicate to our compatriots, or even to the whole world, the powerful force of our national past and heritage — which survives and flourishes to the present day, as the music of the Vágtázó Csodaszarvas (cca. Wonder Stag in Full Gallop) so eloquently testifies. If you hear it once, you will find it unforgettable — and will seek out the experience again.
(Vágtázó Csodaszarvas: Tiszta forrás (Pure Spring), december 3., Petőfi Csarnok (Petofi Hall).)
Published in the Magyar Nemzet. Képeslap. 2005 december 11, p. 17. This is the picture-full week-end Magazin Supplement of the popular newspaper.
Huns in the music hall
The new folk music group, “Wonder Stag in Full Gallop,” with singer-astronomer-poet-thinker Attila Grandpierre out front, made its grand debut on the 3rd of December at the Petőfi Music Hall of Budapest.
The iconoclast Grandpierre, formerly of Vágtázó Halottkémek fame, has attracted considerable attention, including that of film-director genius Gábor Bódy, for his uncanny ability to agitate and play on the sensitive nerves of various party functionaries and censors during the former communist era. Aczél György, Lendvai Ildikó or Erdős Péter and other high-ranking state officials interpreted Vágtázó Halottkémek’s musical performance as a radical challenge to the authority of the state. Subsequently, the group found itself banned. But VHK was not to be stopped: Despite the official censorship and occasional aggravations by the Ritual Theatre, it continued to find eager audiences in Hungary and throughout Europe, long surviving the demise of the regime. And so VHK had the last laugh — and has morphed into a new music group, Vágtázó Csodaszarvas.
Now the group’s main “challenge” is the disengagement and unconcern of the moguls of a profit-oriented music business who avoid risk-taking, and the incomprehension of a musical audience inured to mind-numbing musical junk. For it turns out that Vágtázó Csodaszarvas is just as “radical” as its predecessor VHK. The band members find consolation and justification in the fact that the music of Béla Bartók, whose sublime works they frequently quote, was also considered sheer musical chaos by many of his own contemporaries.
In Vágtázó Csodaszarvas the Magus-singer Grandpierre continues to captivate audiences with cascades of primaeval howling while celebrating shamanic dance. He has collected about himself distinguished virtuosos of traditional folk instruments. And from the special spectacles projected into their background, one feels the Cosmos itself is present to celebrate these extraordinary performances that reach to the deepest ranges of human existence. In their debut at Petőfi Music Hall, it was the primordial soul of the long-forgotten infinite freedom, of the nation of horsemen, of Hungarians that has been stormed — and celebrated. What can come after that?
(Szerető Szabolcs)
VHK/Galloping Coroners
Short bio
VHK was the first Hungarian alternative music group who became famous in the West. They were one of the main attractions of Budapest in the German tourist books about Hungary. The VHK played in many films made about Hungary. They played a shamanistic music full with galvanizing energy and hypnotizing power. VHK was one of the best music groups in the world.
Reviews on VHK
Interview with the music group „Gire”, with Tamás Kátai, March 2007
I consider the VHK as the greatest Hungarian band ever; they were above everything – their kind of primordial energy, impetus, vitality is beyond anybody’s reach., Germany, 2004
The VHK is the best shaman punk band ever.
Splendid E-zine, USA, June 19, 2000
Lead vocalist Grandpierre Atilla shrieks, howls and narrates tales in both Magyar and English; this adds an even more mesmerizing mystique to this roaming, seemingly uncontrollable source of energy, radiating an amazing aura of power and grinding hypnotic control. Beware, all of you American bands, for listening to Vágtázó Halottkémek is like placing some dynamite and a detonator in your brain, as it will rip through any preconceived notions of what you presently consider to be unconventional music. --                                  am
Oor, a Dutch music magazin, March 1996, Iggy Pop-interview
Do you follow the contemporary pop-scene?
- Yes. There are some new bands, like the VHK from Hungary, which I find good. The punk should sound as if it were invented today! I have to add, that I hear quite a few really new things. This is why I like VHK. They sound a bit strange, individual, but yet this is what punk is.
Bananafish, San Franciscan fanzine, 1995, No. 10
Each time I hear a new VHK record I relive this atavistic reverie - it’s like reentering the womb. VHK are so improbable, so wonderful and yet so seemingly necessary (were they not to exist they would have to be invented), that they function for me like my favourite fairy tales used to when I was a kid. When I first discovered their 1988 LP Teach Death a Lesson, I was bowled over by its combination of monastic psychedelia, rock’n’roll codpiece swagger and sheer alien abduction logical completeness, this wondering is with me yet. VHK sound like they’re from another world and another time.
Moshable, a Danish fanzine, 1995
This band have been around for many years now and have played almost everywhere in Europe but still they remain one of Europe’s best kept secret. This is one of the most interesting bands you’re likely to come across this year.
The Melody Maker (U. K.), September 26, 1992 és October 10, 1992
“As the singer spins around inside the band’s mesmeric voodoo howl like whirling dervish the effect is almost hypnotising. Incredible. Watching them play in Cologne, I was fascinated, not just by the band’s performance (which was amazing) but by the frenzied reaction of the crowd. Seeing VHK, I realised just what a dangerous proposition rock’n’roll can be.”
Various Artists, a German fanzine, 1992:
“This is a shamanistic ethno-punk. But it is more than music. It is a trip into the fourth dimension. Close your eyes, feel the Universe and you will find yourself in the infinite layer of passion again. You forget about your name, your background, your sex and, for sure, your ratio. What still counts, is the primal instinct. Here you can gratify it. Psychotherapy from vinyl. A band outer to everyday norms and conformity. A masterwork!”
Maximum Rock’N Roll (USA), July 1991, #98
“this band is equal in spirit and grit to faves like SONIC YOUTH or BIG BLACK but with an identity all its own.”
New York Times, February 28, 1990
“the Coroner’s music is basic and elemental and filled with obsessive, galvanizing passion.”

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